This afternoon we are back with our regular feature ‘Advice from the Married Side,‘ real life wedding planning advice from all the lovely brides and grooms I have featured on the blog.
I get to feature so many amazing real weddings and with each wedding I ask the couple to share with us their wedding planning knowledge and experiences. This post is a super useful collection of wedding wisdom from those who have just got married, to help you on your own wedding planning journey. I hope there will be something amongst these experiences that help you. Happy Planning!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We had so many people help make our day special, it made people feel like they were really a part of our special day.
A good friend of ours warned us that ‘weddings make sane people crazy and crazy people insane’. This became our mantra when things got a little crazy and stressful…sharing a laugh or a private joke helped keep us grounded and (somewhat) sane.
Allocate a little extra money for all the last minute things you didn’t realise you needed.
Don’t scrimp and save too much, but also don’t fall for all the ‘must-haves’ if they are not important to you personally.
I’d recommend advance planning; as two procrastinators, we left a lot of the details to the last month or so, which made the run-up more stressful than it needed to be.
Get a wedding planner for the day to avoid having to answer millions of questions.
Always remember that it’s your day, it can easily be forgotten in the planning and preparation.
Make the day whatever you want it to be. Avoid being pressured by family and friends into doing something you don’t feel comfortable with or adding something that doesn’t resonate with you. Make sure it represents you as a couple in every way, because that’s what makes the day special and memorable.
Really go with your own ideas for your wedding, even if they might seem quirky to your parents/friends/etc: they don’t have the full picture of your wedding so they might not be able to see everything fitting together, and if you feel that this is the right choice for you, then it probably is.
It sounds cliché, but just enjoy it! The process of planning the day and particularly the day itself does NOT need to be at all stressful. We really enjoyed every aspect and it lead to us loving the day.
Try and make the day as personal as possible. If you enjoy being creative, you can do a lot of the work yourself instead of paying others to do it. You will enjoy it and it allows you to spend more time with people you love doing something together.
if you’re having a band or photographer, book them as soon as possible – we couldn’t believe how far in advance they were all booked.
Photography is more important that you think, research, don’t go for the first option, they are the only things that last from the day.
At some point you have to think that there is no more you can do and that whatever will be will be! As soon as we decided to stop worrying about things, we could then enjoy it and on the day we really went for it!!
Have different playlists for different parts of the day, which end up creating the soundtrack to your day, which you can then re-listen to and relive the day whenever you want.
If it’s a dry hire venue, book the caterers before anything else. We were pleasantly surprised by how much of the event the catering company takes responsibility for such as furniture hire, linens, all glassware, deliveries etc. It simplified a lot of the fiddly logistics we were expecting to have to manage ourselves.
Don’t make your own cake. Its a lot of work and even if it feels expensive we recommend that you pay for that service!
We wrote down a brain storm/ mind map of different areas we needed to focus on, and then drew smaller things coming off each subject- breaking our giant list into manageable chunks.
Prioritise the parts of the day that are most important to you, and don’t get hung up on the little details, just because other people usually include them.
It will all be OK on the day… but plan! Delegate! People like to be involved and help. I wrote a running order for the day to ensure nothing was forgotten and we asked different friends and family to help with different jobs.
Get a budget in mind and do a spreadsheet. Don’t just look at wedding stuff have a good look around and get ideas from blogs.
At the beginning, think about what it is you really want from your day before your ideas get distorted by Pinterest!
On the day itself, completely let go of the organising and just enjoy the day – the venue staff and the wedding party will make sure everything goes to plan.
No one remembers all the other bells and whistles! The day itself will go faster that you ever imagined! Make sure to take a moment (or several moments!) to sit back and soak it all up. Make as many memories as you can, it only happens once and in the end it will all be a blur anyway.
If things go wrong, try not to get too stressed about it. Write a little list, or give trusted people one job each, to make sure things you really want to happen/photos you really want to get, get done!
Don’t sweat the small stuff! On the big day you really won’t notice and you’ll be blown away by how much you enjoy every second!
We also booked a friend/colleague as ‘Stage Manager’ for the day who was in charge of the running order and ensured the relevant people were where they needed to be at the right time. This allowed us to spend time with friends and family without the hassle of managing the day itself.
On the big day, do not put too much pressure on yourselves – you won’t have time to spend hours with each of your guests.
I would recommend having a master of ceremony or a manager for the day just so you know water is available or there’s enough toilet roll etc. You don’t want to have to do any of that stuff and although your trusty bridesmaids and groomsmen are there, by 3pm they are no good for anything.